Bios

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Larissa Almanza (Costume Design)

Larissa Almanza is a multi-media artist from Brownsville, TX. She currently resides in Champaign, IL and is in her final year in the Costume Design MFA program at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her BFA in Studio Art and Design at the University of Texas Pan-American. This past summer she worked at the Spurlock Museum as the exhibit designer’s assistant for the In Her Closet: How to Make a Drag Queen Exhibit that will be on display until Spring 2020. She most recently designed costumes for Because I am Your Queen (2019), directed by Barbara Pitts McAdams for Illinois Theater. Other recent works include La Boheme (2018), directed by Nathan Gunn for Lyric Theater at The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and armageddon or sunrise or something (2019) for Dance at Illinois Studio I:Extended concert choreographed by Leah Wilks and Mauriah Kraker. 

Photo by LaTosha Pointer

Faith Brown (Performer)

is a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a B.F.A. in dance, a minor in business, as well as her yoga instructor certification. She’d like to give thanks to her family, friends, and God for their love and support throughout her artistic journey.  

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Michelle Burns (Performer)

is a senior dance BFA candidate and a psychology minor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She began dancing under the direction of Rachel Brady in Alton, IL. She is a Certified Yoga Teacher, President of the Krannert Center Student Association, and loves working in dance film!

Gryffon Cloud (Lighting Design)

Gryffon Cloud is an undergraduate in Lighting Design and Technology at the University of Illinois.  This is his first time designing a show since attending university. Previously, he has been the Assistant Lighting Designer for the 2019 November Dance, and will be the Master Electrician for the upcoming performance of A Little Night Music.

Elliot Reza Emadian (Choreography, Sound, Light)

For more information, click here

Lauren Harders (Production Stage Manager)

is a senior pursuing her BFA in Stage Management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her credits include Stage Manager for the Senior Thesis Concert Compulsive Motion, TocayaNovember Dance 2018, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, as well as Deck Crew for Madame Butterfly and The Trial at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Stage Management Intern for Don Giovanni at Opera Steamboat. 

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Erin Harvey (Performer)

Erin Harvey is a 22-year old senior finishing up her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, pursuing a BA in Dance with a minor in Psychology. She trains in all forms of dance including modern, contemporary, improvisation, ballet, jazz, tap, African, hip-hop, and has significant training in choreographic process. She has performed in works by Leah Wilks, Mauriah Kraker, Elliot Reza Emadian, and has choreographed and performed her own work. Erin has a specific interest in integrating psychology and dance. She is currently working on her senior capstone analyzing how those with mental health disorders exist in a dance community. This research is the impetus for her future studies in graduate school in pursuit of a clinical psychology degree. She plans to work with performing artists as a licensed therapist.

Photo by Nikolai Marcinowski

Jacob Henss (DRK Coordinator and performer)

Jacob is a St. Louis–based movement artist and choreographer. He is a graduate of Webster University (2013–17) with a BA in dance and music. From there he danced with Modern American Dance Company (MADCO), where he was a MADCO2 member (2017–18) and later an apprentice (2018–19). During his time after graduation, he produced three evening-length works, The Other Sides, Conservation, and Non Cura. Alongside self-producing his choreography, he has set work on MADCO2, Karlovsky and Company, and Webster University and for the CommUnity Arts Festival.

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Lindsey Jennings (Performer)

Lindsey Jennings was born and raised in the small town of Mount Sterling, Illinois where she became an enthusiastic do-er of all things from a young age—nothing has changed. She carried this energy with her to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in pursuit of her Bachelor’s of the Fine Arts in Dance and took on many roles as a student, performer, maker, teacher, and researcher. She has been fortunate to work with a multitude of incredible people during her time at the university, including Kendra Portier/BANDPortier, Abby Zbikowski, Jennifer Monson, Renée Wadleigh, and more. Her current plans are to re-locate to New York City by August 2020 to continue in any and all of these roles.

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Kayt MacMaster (Performer)

 

 is a dancer and performance maker. Based in New York City, she has studied and collaborated with artists such as K.J. Holmes, Johanna Stevens Meyer in addition to making her own devised dance and theater work. Internationally MacMaster has worked with Duende School of Ensemble Physical Theatre in Greece, OBRA Theater Company in France, and Saakumu Dance Troupe of Ghana, West Africa. MacMaster earned a BFA in Dance from Oakland University and minored in Creative Writing. She is currently a candidate for an MFA in Dance at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Daniel Massey (Sound Design)

is a junior Sound Design and Technology Major. Recently, he was the Assistant Sound Designer for Gem of the Ocean guest directed by Chuck Smith. His recent sound design credits for dance include "measured way // return stillness" by Danielle Mastricola and "Margarita" by Daisy Rueda.

Madeline Mellinger (Performer)

 a senior pursuing her BFA in dance at the University of Illinois, has previously performed in works by Renée Wadleigh, Linda Lehovec, Charli Brissey, Leah Wilks and a reconstruction of a José Limón piece by Roxane D'Orleans Juste while attending school, as well as performing with Jennifer Monson in her piece ditch during the River to River Festival in NYC.  

Mark Quiles (Technical Direction)

Mark Quiles is a third-year MFA candidate in Scenic Technology. He was the Assistant Technical Director for the Summerscape Festival’s 2018 and 2019 seasons at Bard College in Red Hook, New York. At Summerscape Mark was a part of the production team for the world premiere of Pam Tanowitz’s Four Quartets. Mark is also the touring Technical Director for Pam Tanowitz’s Four Quartets, in association with Bard, and just finished an engagement at Royce Hall at UCLA. Additional Technical Direction credits include The Adventures of Little Sharp Ears and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time here at the University of Illinois. Mark came to the University of Illinois after working as a Carpenter at the Utah Shakespeare Festival for their 2017 season and receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre; Design and Technology at SUNY New Paltz.

Rachel Rizzuto (Rehearsal Direction and performer)

is a performer and choreographer who believes in spectacle, gesture, text, song, and the inevitability of humor. She spent nine years dancing for the Brooklyn-based company Mari Meade Dance Collective/MMDC before entering the University of Illinois to pursue her MFA in dance. For the last five Valentine’s Days, Rizzuto has self-produced Love Sucks, a perennially-changing work for a large cast that utilizes pop music, movement, song, and text to illustrate the inescapable heartache that accompanies falling in and out—mostly out—of love.

Ibrahim Sabbi (Performer)

Ibrahim Sabbi is a working choreographer, dancer, and visual artist. A native of Chicago, he is a BFA student in the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sabbi has performed leading roles in works choreographed by Melanie Bales, C. Kemal Nance, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, Endalyn Taylor, Danzel Thompson-Stout. He was recently the artistic director for Dance 2XS UIUC. Ibrahim Sabbi has had experience in the Hip Hop choreography and street styles battle scene in Chicago, L.A, and Urbana-Champaign.

Emily Schwartz (Performer)

was raised in a small town outside of Quincy, IL. Schwartz began dancing at the age of three under the instruction of Cheryl Kaiser. Schwartz has always been a natural performer using any chance to get onstage, whether that be to dance, act, or even tell jokes. 

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Danner Self (Performer)

Danner Self hails from the very northern part of the state in Roscoe, IL.  She is a senior pursuing a BFA in Dance at the University of Illinois.  Self’s passion and love for dance started at three years old when she attended her first dance class. She started dancing competitively at age 5 and teaching and choreographing at age 14. It was then she realized her true passion resonated in performance and entertainment.  After graduation, she plans to continue her journey to Los Angeles, California, where she will be pursuing a career in commercial dance.​

Stephanie Shaw (Performer)

Stephanie Shaw is currently pursuing her B.F.A Dance degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has performed in work  choreographed by Endalyn Taylor, A. Raheim White, and Danzel Thompson-Stout.

Faith Stanton (Performer)

a native of Jenison, Michigan, started dancing before should could even walk! She was on her Junior High and High School dance teams where she learned and competed in styles such as Pom, Jazz, and Hip Hop. After attending the Debbie Allen Dance Summer Intensive, she decided to try competition dance and explored styles like Lyrical, Ballet, Tap, and Modern. She participated in competition dance for two years and is now in her Junior year as a dance major at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign studying Ballet, Modern, Hip Hop (House), and African. Not only does she enjoy dancing, but she has a passion for teaching and seeing that passion transcend to her students. When she is not in the studio, Faith can be seen drawing and painting, baking, and singing!

Jessica Autumn Ziegler (Performer)

s a Chicago native and currently a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she is pursuing her BFA in Dance. She has been fortunate to perform in works by Jennifer Monson, Abby Zbikowski, and Endalyn Taylor among many others.

Cassidy Zins (Performer)

is from Roseville, Minnesota and is currently in her third year of undergraduate study in dance at the University of Illinois. Since she started at U of I, she has had the opportunity to perform in various shows at the Krannert Center. After graduation, Cassidy plans on pursuing dance performance professionally and teaching children.